How to Make a Wooden Model Car

Written by jose leiva
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How to Make a Wooden Model Car
Wooden model cars are simple woodworking projects. (wooden car over parquet image by Julija Sapic from

Making a wooden model car is a project ideal for any beginner woodworking hobbyist. Building the car is simplified by the availability kits such as the pinewood derby racer kit which includes a pinewood block, two metal rods and four plastic wheels to use as tires. Despite the simplicity of the project, you’ll have a chance to sharpen your minor wood crafting skills and assembly–and you're off to the races.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pinewood derby racer kit
  • Pencil
  • Powered jigsaw
  • Hand mitre saw (optional)
  • Sandpaper
  • Spray paint
  • Acrylic paint (optional)

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  1. 1

    Purchase a pinewood derby racer kit from a local hobby shop or online store. The kit will have all the necessary components for the model car including the axles, tires, and a block of wood to carve the body from.

  2. 2

    Draw the design of the car you want to model directly onto the pinewood block provided in the kit. Use a pencil to make the drawing because it will come off the easiest when you sand down the wood later on. The pinewood block will have pre-drilled axle holes on it so take those into consideration when designing the car.

  3. 3

    Cut out the design using a powered jigsaw. Using a jigsaw will allow you to put more detail into the wooden model car because it is a saw design to manoeuvre around curves and tight spots. If you don’t have a jigsaw, use a hand saw such as a mitre saw.

  4. 4

    Rub the every surface of the wooden car with sandpaper until the wood is smooth and free of any pencil marks. Be careful not to break off any parts of the car while sanding it.

  5. 5

    Spray paint the entire block any colour you want–it's the body of the car–and let the paint dry for an hour. Add details to the car with acrylic paints or tape off the desired details and spray paint the car a different colour. Allow the paint to dry after every coat.

  6. 6

    Insert the metal rods into their designated holes and attach one plastic wheel to each end of the rods.

Tips and warnings

  • Add decals to your model car.

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